Thai army chief brushes aside criticism of purchase of armored vehicles from China

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BANGKOK – The Commander of the Royal Thai Army has insisted that the purchase of armored vehicles from China was properly considered and approved by the Cabinet.

Army Commander Gen. Chalermchai Sitthisart on Wednesday said that the procurement of 34 Chinese-made VN1 armored vehicles was intended to help upgrade the Thai army’s capacity in keeping with its 2017-2021 plan.

Gen. Chalermchai stated that the decision to procure such vehicles from China had been based on their compatibility with the Thai army’s operations, their quality and their price.

He said that the Chinese-made vehicles are really worth the money, as the army had also reviewed other offers, notably from Ukraine and Russia.

Spokesman of the Defense Ministry Maj. Gen. Kongcheep Tantravanich added that the approved procurement will replace the Thai army’s current fleet of vehicles, which have been in use for over 40 years.